Monday, August 27, 2012


By Jax Hix

“Well, Hot Shot, where to?  Back to the Future, Marty?” asks Milo sarcastically as he runs his hands along the instrument panel of the DeLorean.

“I—uh, well, uh…” you stammer, still struggling to shake off the hangover fuzz that has enveloped your brain. “We should . . .“

“We should what? “ screeched Milo, looking nervously at the stairway, the DERP on his forehead rippling as he raised his brow. “Hello, McFly?  Lynch mob?  Remember them?”

“Oh, well, it’s a thick door…ish,” you blurt out, looking at the keys in your hand and back at the screen, your heart sinking  at the video feed outside of your bedroom door as the protestors tear it to wooden shreds with your priceless collection of Samurai swords, battle axes and battering rams.   The sinking feeling is replaced with panic when you see they have Rosalinda with them, realizing that you’d given the entrance to the secret room and the authorization code away to her by entering it in a drunken stupor resulting from the last company holiday party, when she was turning down your bed.

You turn your eyes away from the splintering bedroom door and toward the feed around your secret garage and the only remaining escape route.  You snarl to yourself when you realize the news crew has set up next to it, as of yet unprepared to film your getaway for the 5 o’clock news. 

“Just great,” you mutter sarcastically. “Let’s see Public Relations put a positive spin on THIS.”

“What?” replied Milo, talking into the glove box he was now exploring.

“Oh, nothing.  I was just wishing I’d equipped the DeLorean with a flux capacitor, that’s all,” you reply flippantly and lift the driver door to get in.  You mumble a silent prayer as you put the key in the ignition, hoping for the best.   The engine turns but doesn’t catch. 

Milo looks at you with hostility. “In all that planning, did it occur to you to put gas in it?”

“Well, of course!” you lie as your eyes fall quickly to the gauge relieved to find it full. “It’s just been sitting awhile.  Let me try it again.”

This time the engine catches and you rev it for good measure, tossing a wink at Milo. “You see?  This is why I’m the head Muckety Muck.”

“Pedal to the metal, Mr. Cluckety Cluck,” shouts Milo as he puts on his seatbelt. “Where we headed?”

“Out of this mess and into damage control,” you declare as you gun the engine, squealing the tires on the concrete floor and shooting up the ramp to the hidden garage door like a torpedo, leaving the Batcave in a cloud of engine fuel and burnt rubber.  As you round the corner on the ramp, you catch a glimpse in the rear view mirror in time to see Rosalind and the protestors entering the secret room.  “Forget quitting, she’s fired,” you grumble.

The motion of the car opens the door and Gail Silverman and her camera crew dive out of the way just in time as you dash past them and down the driveway, swerving to avoid flying feces and screaming protestors.  You can see the cameraman filming your escape in the taillights.

“Well, that was fun!” declared Milo. “Let’s NEVER do it again, shall we?”

“Oh, come on, Milo!  You love my parties!  Remember that time in Aspen?”

“Hey, now, I had to pay quite a bit of money to that farmer to compensate him for the trauma to the donkey.  I’m still under a gag order and so are you, you know, “ Milo shot back.

“Gagged something, is right,” you giggle, giddy at your escape.  Reaching over to crank up the music, you turn the steering wheel toward Smart EcoGen and try desperately not to think about your mint condition comic books covered in poo.

The next 20 minutes are relatively uneventful, although your nose announces you may not have done as great a job as you’d have liked at avoiding the flung feces.  You turn in to the executive parking garage entrance to the building and reach for your wallet card, only to realize your wallet is back at the house in your pants.  You shoot a quick glance down and realize your shorts are actually boxer shorts and are also not yours, and judging by the brown stain on your crotch they are also on backwards.  You grin to yourself and think perhaps you did manage to avoid the flung feces afterall.  You ask Milo if he happens to have his wallet card on him and are greeted with a look of surprise, quickly followed by searching and then a shrug.

Steeling yourself for the upcoming interchange, you roll up to the security guard side of the gate.  “Hey, Hal, how are you today?”

“I’m doing well, and how are you?” replies the guard as he looks up from his paper, his question dwindling away as he takes in the sight of his CEO wearing backwards boxer shorts and the VP DERP in the passenger seat.

“As you can see, neither of us have our wallet cards to get into the building, Hal,” you respond, “And we’d be greatly appreciative if you’d let us in and perhaps send Dolores down with a couple of suits?  You do great work here, Hal, so great, I think you are overdue for a raise…if you can keep this, ah, between us?”

“Sure thing,” Hal says through gritted teeth, trying desperately not to laugh or smile as he buzzes open the gate. “I’ll have Dolores meet you at your parking spot.”

“Thank you, Hal,” you say with as much mustered dignity as you can manage under the circumstances.

“Well, that went well, didn’t it?” says Milo.

“Shut up, Milo!”

“Yes, SIR,” Milo giggles.

Dolores is waiting for you at the edge of your parking spot. “We’ve got a real crisis on our hands!  The board is upstairs and there is panic of a level I have never seen before!”

You and Milo scramble to get dressed, and you curse internally when she mentions the DERP to Milo. “I’ll catch up, I’ve got to go take care of the DERP, and screw you for not bringing it up!”  Milo spits in his hand and starts rubbing his forehead.

“You missed a spot, Milo.” Smirking, you follow Dolores upstairs in the executive elevator. 

You enter the boardroom, feeling very much like you’ve been sent to the Principal’s office.  You secretly wish you had been sent to the principal’s office.  The board room is buzzing with screaming and flailing of arms, pie charts and media reports. 

“What’s the situation?” you declare as your presence causes silence to fall.

“This has gone viral!  VIRAL!” screams the head of Public Relations, Paul Poppins. “And you, with your great escape – a nightmare!”

“Our stocks are down 60% and falling, we’re tanking, we’re finished!” pipes in the Head of Mergers and Acquisitions, Scott Black.  "The governments of Korea, China, India and Sweden have pulled their contract offers!"

The Head of the Legal Division, Todd Brammers, cuts in. “Lawsuits are already being filed! We must regroup under Chapter 11!” He is also cut off as everyone again begins shouting, all at once.

“An environmental disaster that will blacken the Earth for generations!”

“We’ve got to get ahead of this bad publicity!”

“Can I get some coffee over here?!?”

“What are our projections for the European market?”

“Quiet!” You yell, your head pounding.  The room falls silent.  You look at their stoic faces and can’t decide where to start.  After all, you’re a science geek at heart, not a CEO.  Stick with what you know, Kiddo.

Will you...

1. Head to the lab to talk to the development team to find out what went wrong?

2. Start planning damage control on the administrative side of things?

3. Run back downstairs to the DeLorean and see if you really can't travel back in time?